(Closed) HELP! How to deal with mentally ill family member.

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

Has this family member been diagnosed? Is he/she dealing with the problems and seeking treatment actively? I think it all depends on the level of effort being made. In the end, you have to make the decision you see as best for all of your wedding guests. 

Post # 4
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

If the siblings are familiar with/admit to this person’s behavior, give them a simple explanation that you think it would be better for the rest of your guests if this person was not given an opportunity to make a scene – especially if their behavior is intentional or disruptive!

Beyond that, you’ve made your decision; if the others don’t want to come, that is their decision. 

Post # 5
453 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I would sit down with the upset sibling and explain why you aren’t inviting their sibling and tell them you totally understand why they are upset…or…can you invite the mentally ill one and ask the other sibling to keep an eye on the troublesome one?


My family has it’s issues two. My wedding invite list include a couple of bad alcoholics, 1 mentally retarded person who “wets”, and a couple of crazies (sorry for being offensive, it’s how i deal with the frustration) and a number of people I find generally annoying (and i’m assuming i’m not alone in having a family that is has it’s quirks)…but I didn’t have the heart to not include them because as much as I dilike the idea of a fight or a scene in the middle of my wedding, I know they all love me. So…if it happens, then oh well.


I’m dealing with it by asking other family members to keep an eye of the ones who are likely to have issues. If they start to get too drunk or too crazy or have other problems, then the other family members will carefully take them outside and alleviate the situation.


Good luck!

Post # 6
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I think you have to stick to your guns and stay strong. I’m dealing with something similiar…we recently decided not to invite my FMIL’s husband of four years. There were many, many reasons and Future Mother-In-Law is choosing to understand none of them. Even though the rest of FI’s family (three brothers, one sister, aunts and uncles) all agree with and support our decision, Future Mother-In-Law told us last night she will not go if we don’t invite her husband. It’s rough, but you need to do what makes the most people happy–including yourselves–on your wedding day.

Post # 7
259 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

FI’s father is not coming to our wedding, and it was a rough decision for him to make. Two people that we absolutely want to attend the wedding have restraining orders against him, and even though they said that they would waive it for that day, we just didn’t want to put them through the stress.

Originally we compromised and invited him to the ceremony but not the reception, but he pitched a fit and refused to come unless he could come to both, so Fiance just uninvited him from the ceremony.

A lot of FI’s family has issues with him though and it really is just a sad situation all around. I know he has been trying to guilt into Fiance into changing his mind but we are staying strong, and you should too. We have had nobody claim they would not attend because of this (in fact, most expressed relief), but I agree with the pp that you should sit down with this other family member and explain your reasoning. When we had originally planned to have him come to the ceremony we had arranged for two security officers to be present (they are fairly easy to hire) and explained very simple but strict ground rules including no contact, he would be sitting on the bride’s side and not the groom’s and was to have no interaction, he would do as he told by the security officers, and if he caused any sort of disruption (as defined by the security, not by him) he would be escorted out and not allowed back inside and police would be called. Perhaps you could work out a similar compromise. Good luck!

Post # 8
593 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

@ futuremrsreed I’m sorry you and your Fiance are going through this. In what you wrote, it is so clear who is wrong in the situation and it sucks that person just won’t get it. The people have restraining orders graciously told you they’d waive them and you and your Fiance struggled with the choice. This shows you all have your hearts and minds in the right place. Your FI’s father however, only seems to care about himself in the situation. He is actually proving your point that he shouldn’t be there by the way he is acting now. I say this because my Future Mother-In-Law is acting sorta the same way. She can’t see or care that SHE is being the problem. Good luck to you both!

Post # 9
162 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2012 - Marie Gabrielle

@kcasam – Mentally retarded is generally an outdated way to describe people with mental disabilities.  “Retard” “retarded’ has become a word often used to dehumanize, which is why most people shy away from using it (I know that’s not how you meant it, but some words have acquired baggage thanks to usage by others).  Not getting on to you, but just to inform.  Also, bathroom issues are easily solved – I am a little surprised your family member’s caretaker, etc hasn’t figured that out??

There are a lot of mentally handicapped and mentally ill people in my family (illness and handicap are different).  The way we handle weddings is that one of our healthy family members is assigned to the people that need extra help.  Also, most of our guests are aware of any disruptive issues, they know we love them, and everyone just deals.  Thankfully, our circle includes a lot of compassionate people – family’s family, you know?  Everyone’s got issues, some are just more obvious than others.  Our buddy system works pretty great; I’d recommend giving it some thought!


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